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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3863..


Mr Moore (continuing):

Information bulletins -

Calvary Public Hospital - Patient Activity Data - August, September and October 2000.

The Canberra Hospital - Patient Activity Data August, September and October 2000.

Petition - out of order

Athllon Drive Corridor Estate - Mr Corbell (1120 residents).

Mr Stefaniak presented the following paper:

ACT Administration of Justice - Statistical profile for the period January to March 2000.

A.C.T. NURSING WORKFORCE

Paper and Ministerial Statement

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Care) (4.15): I ask for leave to make a statement on the ACT nursing workforce.

Leave granted.

MR MOORE: Last Monday I was enormously pleased to announce a package of initiatives to strengthen the ACT nursing workforce. The package included an offer of wage increases and other benefits to all public sector nurses of the ACT, backed by a number of sensible workplace reforms.

This government has taken these steps to proactively address this growing demand for the services of this vital profession. We are addressing this issue in a way that will ensure a viable workforce and a sustainable health system across the ACT. This afternoon I will provide you with an overview of the issues surrounding nursing that we face as a nation and a territory. I will explain the main elements in this package of initiatives. I am sure that all members will be very excited about it.

The state of the national nursing workforce: there is a national and international shortage of nurses that is affecting the ability of health systems to respond to the needs of the population. This worsening situation is well recognised by all states and territories in this country. In response, the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council has commissioned a working group to develop strategies to address the growing shortage of skilled nurses in Australia.

As a nation we are competing to keep skilled nurses in a world market that is struggling to match demand. We are having difficulty attracting and retaining nurses in key speciality areas. Every nursing journal in this country has a number of advertisements enticing nurses to work in the UK and the US. Similarly, the UK is losing nurses to the advertisements in the Australian papers. Demands on the ACT public hospital system are increasing, while recruitment and retention of staff is becoming harder.


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